Library book was 77 years late

Maple Ridge public library agrees to waive penalty

A library book 77 years overdue was returned to the Maple Ridge library two weeks ago.

Retired elementary school teacher Karen McLaren discovered the tome while cleaning out her house.

The Double Chance, by J.S. Fletcher, was borrowed from the Fraser Valley Public Library on February 10, 1936 by her grandfather, Raleigh McLaren.

Luckily, the library waived its overdue fine.

“We were quite taken aback by it,” said community librarian Jo-Ann Sleiman, adding that the book won’t be returned to a shelf.

“It’s really old and falling apart. If it had been returned, it probably would have been weeded out of the collection years and years ago. It’s not really in great shape, but that’s understandable after all these years.”

The McLarens were a pioneer family in Maple Ridge. Raleigh McLaren’s parents moved to the district from England. He went on to serve in both World Wars and passed away in 1960.

Sleiman thinks the book was most likely borrowed from one of the mobile library trucks that travelled the valley.

The detective novel is the longest overdue book returned to the library. It’s been shipped to the Fraser Valley Regional Library headquarters, where it will most likely be put on display with a little reminder that it’s never too late to return an overdue book.

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